Super Crumb Coffee Cake.

A soft, tender, easy-to-make coffee cake, heavy on the crumbs!

A soft, tender, easy-to-make coffee cake, heavy on the crumbs! Recipe at sallysbakingaddiction.com

 Because the crumb part… is the best part.

If you’re anything like me, you pick off the crumb topping from your coffee cake.  Or you take the piece with the most crumb topping on it.  If I could make a meal out of crumb topping… believe me, I would.

This is a cinnamon, sugary, buttery crumb-topped coffee cake. Heavy on the crumb.

A soft, tender, easy-to-make coffee cake, heavy on the crumbs! Recipe at sallysbakingaddiction.com

Today’s coffee cake is an easy-to-follow recipe.  This homemade version of the classic is a far cry from any of those overly-sweet, fake-tasting store bought versions you may be used to. It’s buttery, moist, soft, and pairs well with a morning cup of coffee. Let’s face it, this coffee cake will pair well with an afternoon cup o’ joe too.  Actually, the coffee is optional. You’ll love this cake no matter what you’re drinking with it.

I got the recipe from my favorite cookbook. The bible of baking, I like to call it. A 1,000+ page book of kitchen-tested recipes, tutorials, and baking tips. My Cooks Illustrated The New Best Recipe - trust me, you need this cookbook. They are the culinary geniuses behind my Death by Chocolate Peanut Butter Chip Cookies.

The cookbook doesn’t call this cake “super-crumb.”  I do. I baked the crumb cake in a smaller pan than what the recipe states, making the crumb layer in my version thicker for each piece.  Kevin had a slice and asked if there was more crumb topping leftover. Even the “super crumb” wasn’t enough for him. I knew I was marrying this man for a reason. ;)

A soft, tender, easy-to-make coffee cake, heavy on the crumbs! Recipe at sallysbakingaddiction.com

What makes this coffee cake so easy is that the crumb-topping and cake batter all start in the same bowl.  The crumb topping’s ingredients (butter, flour, & sugar) is essentially the cake’s ingredients without any liquid. A recipe deriving both cake and crumb topping from the same mixture was a selling point for me.

Simply combine your flour, sugar, salt, and cut in the butter. I used a whisk to cut the butter in and a large fork to mix everything around until the mixture resembled course crumbs.  Set aside 1 cup of the crumb mixture and continue with the rest of the cake batter ingredients.

The cup you set aside is your crumb topping. How easy is that?

A soft, tender, easy-to-make coffee cake, heavy on the crumbs! Recipe at sallysbakingaddiction.com

The recipe calls for buttermilk.  There are no substitutions for buttermilk here.  I tried.  Since I no longer work in the office, I had the spare minute to test this recipe a couple of times.  Buttermilk is one of the culprits for how moist the cake’s crumb is.  Trust me, you can’t leave it out!  It’s required for this recipe – the lactic acid present is what will allow the baking soda to react and leaven the cake. If you buy a carton of buttermilk, you can use the extra in my Triple Chocolate Layer Cake.

You can always make your own buttermilk at home using regular milk + lemon juice.  Here’s how I’ve done it before: Measure 1 Tablespoon of white vinegar or lemon juice in a measuring cup.  Then, add enough milk (1%, 2%, or whole) to the same measuring cup until it reaches 1 cup.  Stir it around and let sit for 5 minutes.  The homemade “buttermilk” will be somewhat curdled and ready to use in your recipe.

Another requirement? Room temperature egg.  Don’t worry, I have a shortcut for that too: Place the egg in a bowl of warm/hot water for 5-10 minutes as you get your other ingredients ready. Easy!

A soft, tender, easy-to-make coffee cake, heavy on the crumbs! Recipe at sallysbakingaddiction.com

The original recipe called for nuts, but I chose to leave them out.  I increased the vanilla extract used and the brown sugar used as well. I also increased the cinnamon, as per the usual. Love cinnamon.

This cake is a wonderful option to make ahead the night before brunch or even a holiday breakfast, like Mother’s Day coming soon. If busy mornings are the norm in your house, make this coffee cake ahead of time.  That’s exactly what I did. I made it on Saturday morning and on Sunday, it still tasted incredibly fresh. The crumbs were piled high, the cake hidden underneath was moist and tender, and the taste?  Oh so cinnamon-buttery.

In some bites, the crumb layer was thicker than the cake layer! Amazing.

A soft, tender, easy-to-make coffee cake, heavy on the crumbs! Recipe at sallysbakingaddiction.com

Old-fashioned crumb coffeecake at its finest, my friends.

 

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Super-Crumb Coffee Cake

Serves 8-10. Cake tastes best on day 1 or day 2. The cake may be made 1 day in advance. Store covered at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tablespoon flour, for coating the pan
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup + 2 Tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 10 Tablespoons (1 and 1/4 stick) unsalted butter, lightly softened (still cool to touch)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk, at room temperature*
  • 1 large egg, at room temperature*
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Generously spray a 9-inch springform pan* with cooking spray or grease with butter. Sprinkle the bottom of the pan with 1 Tablespoon of flour and tap out the excess.
  2. Whisk the flour, sugar, and salt together in a large mixing bowl until combined. Cut in the butter in very small pieces. Whisk around with a whisk or mix with a fork until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside 1 cup of the flour mixture.
  3. Mix the baking powder and baking soda into the remaining flour mixture. Add the room temperature buttermilk, egg, and vanilla - you may want to do this with a mixer. The batter is very, very thick. Vigorously mix everything together until the batter is smooth, fluffy, and resembles frosting - about 2 full minutes. Spoon the batter into the prepared springform pan, smoothing the top.
  4. Add the brown sugar and cinnamon to the reserved flour mixture. Toss with a fork until well blended. Sprinkle the crumbs over the batter, pressingly lightly so they stick. Bake the cake until the center is firm and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean - 50-58 minutes. Mine took 55 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes, then remove the sides of the springform pan and allow cake to cool completely before serving (about 2 hours).

*See note in the post about buttermilk substitution.
*See note in the post about bring egg to room temperature quickly.
*Don't have a springform pan? Use a 9x9x2 (not 8-inch) square baking dish.

 

© Sally’s Baking Addiction. All images & content are copyright protected. Please do not use my images without prior permission. If you want to republish this recipe, please re-write the recipe in your own words, or link back to this post for the recipe.

 

After one bite of this coffee cake, breakfast will seem like a real treat.

You won’t mind waking up to a few of my similar recipes for breakfast either!

 

Homemade Monkey Bread with Caramel Sauce

Homemade Monkey Bread with Caramel Sauce

 

Raspberry Chocolate Coffee Cake

Dark Chocolate Raspberry Coffee Cake

 

Iced Pumpkin Coffee Cake

Iced Pumpkin Coffee Cake

 

Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread

Cinnamon Swirl Banana Bread

 

   

214 Responses to “Super Crumb Coffee Cake.”

  1. #
    121
    Elleposted February 23, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    Excellent coffee cake! Wish the cake was a little thicker, so I may double the cake next time.

    Reply

  2. #
    122
    meganposted February 25, 2014 at 6:45 pm

    i just happened upon this…AND it is THE best coffee cake that doesnt use sour cream..it is better! thank you for sharing what is now my favorite!

    Reply

  3. #
    123
    Miaposted March 5, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    As I’m waiting for my buttermilk, butter, & egg to be room temperature, just thought I’d ask- do you add more cinnamon & vanilla than your recipe calls for? Or have you already increased the measurements from the original recipe? So excited to get this baking in my oven!!!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on March 6th, 2014 at 8:42 am

      The recipe is written with my changes! Enjoy, Mia.

      Reply

  4. #
    124
    Kevin | keviniscookingposted March 6, 2014 at 6:52 pm

    Sally,
    I came across your Pinterest post of this today. Simply put, I want to eat these photographs! Well done indeed.
    Making this this weekend. Thanks!

    Reply

  5. #
    125
    yaelposted March 17, 2014 at 9:10 pm

    I make this cake all the time for m family and it’s always devoured! This past week I did not have any vanilla extract left in the baking cabinet. Instead I substituted in 1.5 tsps of almond extract, it was amazing! You must try it!

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on March 17th, 2014 at 9:51 pm

      Yes! I’ll have to try it. Happy you love this crumb cake!

      Reply

  6. #
    126
    Graceposted March 24, 2014 at 6:28 am

    What a fabulous cake! Because it was a rainy ‘home’ day, my sister and I sat down and scrolled through all your amazing baked goods before settling on this one. So glad we did – Amazing! The cake is so so light, fluffy and moist and the contrast of the crispy crunchy crumb. One thing – I did add an extra teaspoon of baking powder as I made your funfetti cake a few weeks ago and it barely rose and was dense and heavy. I live in Australia so I use Plain four for what you call all purpose. Is there some sort of raising agent in your all purpose flour?
    Thanks for such simply yummy recipes!

    Reply

  7. #
    127
    Tracyposted April 5, 2014 at 8:09 am

    Made this coffee cake yesterday and found the topping was quite dry and not to my families liking at all. The cake part however was excellent.

    Reply

  8. #
    128
    Happymomposted April 7, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    Is there another pan I can use? I don’t have a springform :(

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on April 7th, 2014 at 6:37 pm

      Use a 9x9x2 (not 8-inch) square baking dish.

      Reply

      • Happymomreplied on April 7th, 2014 at 11:26 pm

        Thank you–I just found all the rest of the comments where you had answered the same question! Sorry I didn’t see it sooner, and thanks for answering so quickly (and for the delicious looking recipe)!

  9. #
    129
    Lauraposted April 11, 2014 at 1:03 pm

    I made this cake yesterday and I must have done something wrong?? The topping just stayed sitting on top as a sugary powder. It didn’t melt or crumble or even stick to the cake itself. All you could taste was the granules of sugar and cinnamon. Help?

    Reply

    • Sallyreplied on April 11th, 2014 at 8:18 pm

      Hey Laura! That’s strange – did you cut in the butter and then mix until crumbly? With all that butter, I’m surprised it didn’t melt at all?

      Reply

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